Aussie prune growers’ ability to control weeds was boosted last week with an in-depth herbicide workshop on the application of Group L herbicides – Gramoxone and Sprayseed – in orchards. Download the report from the AusPrunes newsletter or continue reading below.

Yenda Producers Co-operative organised the workshop as part of the Australian Prune Industry Association’s communication program.

“Weed control is an important part of orchard management and productivity,” said Yenda horticulturist Kurtis Brown. “The weeds rob trees of valuable water and nutrients, and in some cases harbour pests and disease.

“Herbicides can be a great tool to ensure weeds are kept at bay with relative ease, but they need to be used correctly if they are too be efficient. Incorrect use is not only a waste of money and time but can lead to chemical resistance, ultimately rendering that group of chemicals useless.

“To help growers brush up on their knowledge of Gramoxone and Sprayseed, we invited Syngenta’s chemical expert Scott Mathew to lead a workshop at Paul Carver’s property in Yenda on 5th November,” he said.

The workshop began with the theoretical components of spray application including sprayer calibration and application techniques, before moving outside to see the theory in action.

Getting the right amount of chemical onto the ground is key to the success of any spray program.

Local grower Michael Zalunardo said the workshop had been useful and he gained a better understanding of the importance of using appropriate nozzle sizes and water rates.

Mr Carver was also impressed with the up-to-date technical information on spray calibration and application. “Outside, Mathew used water-sensitive paper to illustrate how the different nozzle sizes affected spray coverage. This was a great way to reinforce the information we had learned earlier in the technical session,” Mr Carver said. Mr Brown said the workshop was well received by growers.

“For those growers who were unable to attend the herbicide workshop, the main message is – ensure your spray equipment is calibrated so that adequate spray coverage is being achieved with their spray applications,” he said.